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COVID-19 Treatment Options

RI-MUHC clinical trial COVID-19: clinical trial of ciclesonide to possibly prevent mild cases of COVID-19 from worsening

Dr. Nicole Ezer, of the RI-MUHC’s RESP Program, discusses COVID-19 treatment options with Claude Bernatchez of Radio-Canada’s Première Heure program.

Dr. Ezer explains how the virus causes uncontrolled inflammation in the body, which may result in serious respiratory issues. The steroid dexamethasone reduces inflammation and is currently given to hospitalized patients. Use of this steroid is favorable as it is not expensive and it has been used in the treatment of other other medical conditions for years. Thus, it is already known to physicians and specialists and has been is backed by numerous studies. Unfortunately, steroids used at such high doses as is needed to combat COVID-19 may cause other illnesses, such as diabetes; therefore, this treatment is only available to individuals who are hospitalized.

A second COVID-19 treatment option is antiviral medications, which slow the replication of the virus. Antivirals are being prescribed early in the COVID-19 diagnosis, with the intent of avoiding a future hospitalization of the patient.

Treatment with antibodies would boost the immune system and help the body to fight off the virus. Additional research could be done to determine the stage at which this type of treatment would have the greatest effect. At this point in time, the use of antibodies for treatment of COVID-19 has not been approved in Canada.

Dr. Ezer concludes by emphasizing the need for an effective and inexpensive treatment for COVID-19. A vaccine is needed, but vaccines are not always 100% effective. The virus will always be with us, and there will be many people worldwide who will catch it. We need to discover additional affordable COVID-19 treatment options.

Dr. Ezer’s interview on Radio-Canada can be heard here:

Etat des lieux des traitements contre la COVID-19 avec Dr. Nicole Ezer. Radio-Canada. Oct 8, 2020.